Two-Factor Authentication Problems on Instagram and How to Overcome Them

Two days back, I changed phones and signed into Instagram.

A day ago, when I tried to sign in I was not receiving my verification code for the two-step factor verification that I have for my account.

I tried several times to log in as I had some pictures I wanted to upload but it just didn’t seem to work.

Then I decided to contact the Instagram team and ask for help.

I filled in the form choosing the ‘there are pictures of me’ and submitted.

A few hours later, I received a strange request in an email. Well, I thought it strange anyway.

It gave me a code and then instructed me to do the following –

  1. Write the code on a clean sheet of paper followed by my full name and user name. (handwritten)
  2.  Take a picture of myself holding up the piece of paper.
  3. Send it back to the address it came from.

My first instinct was to be very careful and ignore the whole email. The email address didn’t seem overly legitimate. Luckily I didn’t commit it to trash.

I then asked around in some Facebook blogger groups where nobody seemed to have heard of this except for one accomplished blogger.

I was desperate to get back into my account so decided to do as requested even though I was cautioned by quite a few people to answering to the email.

When I did send my mug shot to them, I was sent an email back saying that there were problems delivering my email. I cursed my luck, certain that it had been a scam.

Early today I chased up with an email and was relieved and thrilled to be given a code to get back into my account.

It was quite a speedy service on the part of Instagram as there must be thousands of requests.

I posted this to help any others who are met with the same situation. If you are like me and post a lot on Instagram especially if it’s blog related,  72 hours seems like a lifetime.

Of course, do still filter your emails. You should only receive one if you have asked for support within the Instagram website.

How to get backup codes from your Instagram Account

Also you can sign in with a Backup Code if you don’t receive a verification code. Here’s how to get your backup codes.

  1. Click on the top right hand options button on your profile on the App.
  2. Then on Two-Factor Authentication
  3. Finally click on Backup codes

You should be able to see a list of backup codes which you can use. You can also save these as a screenshot.

Of course you cannot do this if you are locked out of your app, you’ll need to use the above method of contacting Instagram. But you can save the codes for later use and I strongly advise you to do so even if you haven’t been locked out of your Instagram account.  (Do so NOW)


2 thoughts on “Two-Factor Authentication Problems on Instagram and How to Overcome Them

  1. I am unable to log into instragram- keep getting an “oops, an error occurred” both on my phone and laptop. Can you share the instagram help contact information- unable to find this online, but also unable to login to to due to the aforementioned error message. Your help is greatly appreciated.

    1. When you’re on the sign in page, there is a ‘having problems signing in’ or similar where you can go to the Instagram help centre.

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